D.E. Wyatt: Bait and Switch
Elsabeth is feisty, dangerous, great with the sword and yet as tough as she is there is a softness about her that just might endanger her. Brother Hieronymus is sarcastic, blunt, and smart and together they make a unique and wild pair. Living in their own worlds and not really facing what she does to irritate wives and annoy townsfolk and Hieronymus quick to drink a tankard or ten or more and leaving her to her own devices it is amazing that they get anything done at all. But, when a young boy named Maerten and his guardian named Hussen find their way to the village of Checy they are asked to accompany this young boy to learn about his past. But, something about this young boy endears him to Tetty as the Brother calls her and she against her better judgment decides to accompany him and his guardian to find a powerful wizard who lives in a deserted area in the wilderness and hopefully will use his powers to reveal his past. This is one story that will draw you in as you deal with a guardian who comes up against Tetty and the scene is hilarious as she takes him down. With Hieronymus always getting drunk and finding their way to the wilderness where this wizard lives it’s no wonder she gets angry, antsy and upset when made to wait two hours outside of his door before he allows her and several others that made the journey with them to seek his help inside, no less one at a time. When the young boy finally gets his turn with Sinopus the wizard what he learns changes it all and allows him and everyone else to know that he is an heir. But, when he asks Elsabeth to continue on with him and his guardian to Auch and to find more answers she refuses even though she worries about him and feels that what he is about to embark on is dangerous. No matter how much Hieronymus prods, teases, cajoles and gropes at her she does not falter and will not allow him to get the better of her even though he has. Entering a bar is dangerous for him as he drinks his way, has a lose tongue and thinks nothing of having his way with any woman in his view. Together they make quite a unique pair and some at the monastery wish he would become a Friar or higher just to keep him out of bars. What the wizard told him is that he is part of a destroyed kingdom and a lost heir. In order to learn more the journey must continue on.
The banter between the characters adds to the humor and unpredictability of both Elsabeth and Hieronymus. But, when the guardian decides he wants to take liberties with her and she relents and agrees to take Maerten on the next leg of his journey to find the documents he needs in the castle to prove he is the Duc of Rouen, then things heat up and lives might be at stake but the guardian better watch out for his most precious organs when trying to take a grab at Elsabeth. She is independent, smart but when they both decide to venture to Auch it is Hieronymus whose plan the follow and the ingenious way they trick the castle guards to allowing them in, pretending to want work and hoping that they will get in and out without incident. The wizard told him that he was the rightful heir to the castle and that he had to go to Auch to prove it. But, was he being honest and telling him the truth? Is what he wears around his neck living prove of his heritage? Why did they tell them the village and castle was empty? As we can tell by their constant bickering both Hieronymus and Elsabeth are a perfect match. Each one sarcastic and neither has patience for people who are not quick and definitely not smart. Elsabeth tries to understand certain situations and explains her feelings to Maerten about her limitations and just how far she will go to protect this young man but diplomacy is not her and Hieronymus tries to temper her but does not always succeed. The title Bait and Switch tells is all centering on this orphan while creating humorous scenes with the rest of the cast.
Hoping to get some money for their efforts and finding the answers for this young man, a swordsman named Husson is at the heart of helping Maerten find his way but his abuse and manner towards him brings down more than Elsabeth’s wrath. Guiding and protecting them on their journey is the purpose and understanding her frustrations is fair to say. Although this is pure fantasy the message about loyalty and friendship comes through. Even though she does not feel perfectly happy with what she has decided to do she feels a bond towards Maerten for unexplainable reasons.